Health is a frequently assessed state among Americans. We are often faced with the question, from doctors, friends, and relatives to just about anyone, to assess our own health and report how we feel. A study commissioned by health insurance company, Aetna, has found that all of us are far too optimistic in assessing our own health — we claim to be healthy even if we have chronic ailments or are truly not healthy at all.

The study, as a part of Aetna's What's Your Healthy campaign, which allows people to share personal and unique definitions of health, surveyed 1800 Americans aged 25 to 64 in April 2013. When asked about overall health for people their age, 45 percent said that their own age group was the healthiest; only 32 percent said their parents' generation was healthier, and 23 percent said the younger generations were healthiest.

The survey certainly identified what people in different age groups thought was healthy. People aged 35 to 49 defined health as getting recommended screenings and checkups. Meanwhile, people aged 25 to 36 thought health was defined by good eating habits and regular physical activity.

When asked if they thought health meant looking great, 35 percent of people aged 25 to 48 felt that being healthy relies on looking healthy, while only 19 percent of people aged 49 to 64 agreed with that statement.

More than half of those surveyed said weight was not an indicator of health, yet 67 percent expressed a desire to lose an average of 25 lbs. However, these people are somewhat misinformed. While many expressed a desire to lose weight to be healthier, many said weight was unimportant to health — this is not true. "Being healthy is about being at a healthy body weight ... the higher their weight goes, the higher their risk increases," Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet, told CNBC. "There is that road to health. More people are getting on it," she said. "I just think we need more people to be on that road."

Gans's thoughts are not as controversial as they sound. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2010 that 36 percent of American adults are obese. Obesity is a serious and chronic ailment that diminishes one's quality of life due to being overweight and other ailments as a result.

However, all is not lost. When asked what they would do if given an extra hour each day, 20 percent of respondents said they would exercise. And when asked to compare their habits now to their habits from five years ago, 50 percent said they were eating healthier, 37 percent reported drinking less alcohol, and 34 percent said they were working out harder. When asked about where they got their health information, many participants seemed to be well-informed: 42 percent said health and wellness websites were their favorite health resource, instead of advice from friends, family, television, and other forms of media.

Aetna's study indicated that Americans are very optimistic about health. However, the reality is many do not fully realize the dangers of obesity and lack of physical activity, and perhaps some of their habits are not as healthy as they think. But, many Americans surveyed showed that they want to make changes to their health, which is a good sign if any.